Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2013

Posted October 11, 2013

Event: December 5 to 10, 2013

U of A: International Short Course on Permafrost Engineering - Effective Design and Construction in Permafrost Regions

Location: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Cost: $2,000 (Before Nov. 15, 2013), $2,500 (After Nov. 15, 2013)

This course is tailored towards an engineer who has never attended a permafrost engineering course, or wants to learn about the latest information in permafrost engineering. It will teach working knowledge of logistic challenges of building in Northern Regions. For more information, see the brochure or contact Sally Petaske (U of A)

Posted October 15, 2013 (Updated November 12, 2013)

Event: November 19, 2013

GSE: Dr. Jim Oswell, Naviq Consulting Inc. - Several Case Histories of Pipeline Distress Induced by Landslides in South America

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 11:45am Registration, 12:15pm Lunch, 12:30pm Presentation

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members, $10 Students

Note change in date and speaker.

Those countries in South America that are mountainous have traditionally experienced much higher rates of pipeline incidents caused by landslides than North America. The terrain and climatic conditions are two important factors that influence the negative interaction between slopes and pipelines.This presentation discusses several case histories in two South American countries where post-incident forensic investigations showed that landslides were the direct cause of the pipeline distress. In one unfortunate case, the loss of containment by the pipeline resulted in over 30 fatalities. The initial approach to the investigations and the subsequent geotechnical monitoring and results will be presented....more>>

Posted August 26, 2013 (Updated October 9, 2013)

Event: October 21, 2013

GSE/CGS Cross Canada Lecture: Dr. Edward Kavazanjian, Jr., Arizona State University - Pre-Design Geotechnical Evaluation for Closure of the Oil Superfund Site Landfill (11th Ralph B. Peck Lecture)

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 11:45am Registration, 12:15pm Lunch, 12:30pm Presentation

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members, $10 Students

The pre-design geotechnical investigation for closure of the Operating Industries, Inc. (OII) landfill significantly advanced the state of the art for solid waste landfill engineering. Rising almost 300 ft above grade with slopes as steep as 1.3H:1V, the “orphan” site was placed in the Superfund program in 1986. The landfill, which accepted primarily municipal solid waste, sits astride California State Highway 60 (the Pomona Freeway) and on top of an active earthquake fault considered capable of a magnitude 6.9 earthquake. Due its location, steep slopes and high seismic exposure, the landfill was deemed a “unique urban hazard” by the EPA. The pre-design geotechnical evaluation for closure of the landfill included in situ testing, large scale laboratory testing of waste in an on-site laboratory, seismic hazard and seismic site response analyses, and static and seismic stability analyses of the waste mass and existing interim soil cover. Two different blue-ribbon panels (one for EPA and one for the potentially responsible parties) composed of eminent geotechnical and landfill engineers provided oversight for the work...more>>

Posted August 26, 2013 (Updated September 11, 2013)

Event: September 23, 2013

GSE: Annual Fall Wine & Cheese Event

Location: Papachase Room, Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 5:30pm Reception, 6:30pm Presentations

Cost: $5 Members, $10 Non-members, $5 Students
(Student cost includes membership for the year)

The 2013/2014 season will begin with the traditional Annual Wine and Cheese event. Come out and connect with students and colleagues in the local geotechnical community.

There will be three short presentations from U of A students and staff: Vivian Giang (Communications Strategist) on her Geotechnical Book Project (follow link above for more information), Matthew Stewart (recent M.Sc. Graduate) on "Removal of Contaminants from Oil Sands Tailings using Carbon-Based Adsorbents", and Alireza Rogheni (Ph.D Candidate) and "Ballast Issues on Railway Foundations"...more>>

Posted November 25, 2012 (Updated May 2, 2013)

Event: May 6, 2013

GSE 2013 AGM: James P. McCalpin, Distinguished Jahns Lecturer in Engineering Geology - The Mountains Are Falling Apart; A Spectrum of Mass Failures from Landslides through Deep-Seated Gravitational Spreading (Sackung), to "Unfolding" of Folds

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 5:30pm Registration, 6:00pm Dinner, 6:30pm Presentation

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members, $10 Students

Download 2013 Annual Reports (PDF)

All engineering geologists can recognize obvious, young landslides from their sharp, distinct geomorphic elements (headscarp, lateral margins, toe thrust, hummocky topography). However, we often see isolated elements without the others and are unsure of their exact origin and engineering significance. Recent geologic mapping in mountainous areas of Alaska, California, Colorado, and Utah, supplemented by LiDAR DEMs, has revealed an abundance of young scarps, graben, bulges, and other geomorphic anomalies...more>>

Posted May 2, 2013

Event: May 6, 2013

U of A Graduate Student Seminar: James P. McCalpin, Distinguished Jahns Lecturer in Engineering Geology - LiDAR Reveals the Bare Earth: LiDAR Geomorphology and its Applications to Engineering Geology

Location: NREF 2-080, University of Alberta

Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Cost: None

Bare-earth DEMs produced by LiDAR, with grid size of 1 m to 6 m, are an engineering geologist’s dream-come-true. In the field of geologic hazards, the DEMs can be used to analyze: 1-active faults, 2-tsunamis, 3-landslides, 4-debris flows, 5-rockfalls, 6-floods, 7-sinkholes, 8-dams, and 9-coastal change. In the field of geologic mapping, Lidar-based DEMs greatly increase the recognition of surficial and bedrock map units, and the accuracy of geologic contacts drawn.

Posted April 3, 2013

Event: April 18, 2013

GSE/U of A: 11th Annual Applied Geotechnical Engineering Design Contest: Reinforced Soil Wall

Location: L2, NREF, University of Alberta

Time: 4:30pm Construction (L2-110); 6pm Testing (L2-020)

Cost: Free

Posted April 2, 2013

Event: April 17, 2013

GSE/CGS Cross Canada Lecture: Bob Cameron, Syncrude Canada Ltd. - Case Studies in Soil Parameter Selections for Clay Foundations

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 5:15pm Registration, 5:45pm Dinner, 6:15pm Presentation

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members, $10 Students

The methodology developed over 29 years to pick design shear strength and pore pressure parameters for up to 6 different clays will be presented. Anyone who designs large foundations on clay knows it is often not easy to select soil design parameters. The case studies of failures and successes will show examples of how the same clay can have multiple pore water pressure design parameters depending on the whether loaded, or unloaded, and everything in-between. Field measured deformations and pore water pressures for two dump embankment foundations, two dam foundations, two failed slopes, two retaining walls and a mine pit wall will be discussed. It will be shown that one shear strength estimate and one pore water pressure selection for the same clay within even the same design, is not adequate for many of the case studies. Some of the clays noted have high shear strengths across bedding, but very low sliding shear strengths along bedding and weak planes. Trials and tribulations with peak and residual shear strength laboratory testing, total and effective stress considerations and field pore water pressure data will be discussed and shown to provide some very useful, but often misleading or misinterpreted input parameters, unless properly interrogated. Surprisingly, all the clays to be discussed, that act differently and also differ within themselves under different conditions, are all located in the same area...more>>

The CCLT is organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society, with funding through the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique.

Sponsorship provided by:

  • JD Mollard and Associates
  • BGC Engineering
  • ConeTec Investigations
  • Golder Associates

Posted February 13, 2013

Event: April 11 and 12, 2013

GSE: 2013 Symposium - Dr. Fred H. Kulhawy, PE, GE: Estimation of Soil Properties for Foundation Design (Day 1) and Geotechnical Uncertainty and Reliability-Based Foundation Design (RBD) (Day 2)

Location: Woodvale Facility, Millwoods Golf Course (4540 – 50 Street NW, Edmonton)

Time: 7:30am - 5:00pm (both days)

Cost by Mar. 15: Members $295 per day or $550 for both, Non-Members $345 per day or $650 for both, Students $120 per day or $200 for both

Cost after Mar. 15: Members $345 per day or $650 for both, Non-Members $395 per day or $750 for both, Students $120 per day or $200 for both

Cost for Exhibitors: $1000 for both days including registration for one course participant

Registrations cancelled on or before March 31, 2013 will be refunded for the full amount paid minus a $10 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after March 31 although attendee substitutions will be accepted.

Register and Pay online

Day 1: Estimation of Soil Properties for Foundation Design

Soil property estimation is fundamental to all of geotechnical design. For projects with limited budgets, testing will be more limited, and some properties will have to be estimated using correlations. Significant research has been conducted to assess soil property correlations in a realistic manner, including the uncertainty in each correlation. Course concepts include soil property evaluation strategy, geologic inference in property assessment, comparative evaluation of in-situ tests, relative density assessment, in-situ stress evaluation, soil strength evaluation, and deformability estimation.

Day 2: Geotechnical Uncertainty and Reliability-Based Foundation Design

Reliability-based design (RBD) of foundations is presented as a potentially superior alternative to traditional deterministic design. Course concepts include an overview of the development of geotechnical RBD for foundations in North America, followed by a discussion of basic issues of uncertainty, risk, judgment, and RBD formulation. The uncertainty and variability of design parameters are discussed in detail, including load modeling and geotechnical variability. These factors are then integrated into reliability-based equations for foundation design, with application examples.

Posted November 25, 2012 (Updated March 12, 2013)

Event: March 19, 2013

GSE: Prof. Michael Hendry, U of A - Research to Facilitating the Management of Railway Ground Hazards

Location: Lecture Theatre L036, Engineering Technology Annex, NAIT

Time: 11:45am - 1:30pm

Cost: $10 Members, $15 Non-Members, $5 Students

With 48,000 kilometers of track, Canada has one of the longest rail networks in the world. Canadians and the Canadian economy depend on the railway system for the transportation of people and freight. As measured by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, rail is by far the safest means of ground transportation in Canada (Railway Association of Canada, However, due to the geographic diversity of Canada, climatic extremes, and active geological processes, Canada’s rail infrastructure is exposed to infrequent but potentially dangerous natural (ground) hazards. These ground hazards include landslides, erosion, subsidence, avalanches, and frost, among other hazards. These hazards have the potential to result in track failure or make tracks unsafe at the posted speed, and therefore they pose a risk to the safety and operation of Canada’s railways. Ground hazard incidents represent up to 12% of all engineering-related issues, and due to their high cost-per-accident they account for as much as 25% of the cost of engineering-related losses and track outages...more>>

Posted February 13, 2013

Event: February 21, 2013

CSCE/ECES/GSE Joint Presentation: Rudy Schmidtke, P.Eng., MSc., AECOM and Henry Westermann, Public Works and Government Services Canada - Giant Mine Site Reclamation, Yellowknife, NT

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Cost: $25 Members, $35 Non-Members, $12 for Students; $5 drop-in fee if register at venue

Register Online

The Giant Mine is an abandoned gold mine approximately 4 km north of the City of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Gold was mined and processed by various owners from 1948 to 1999. Giant Mine was abandoned by Royal Oak Mines in 1999 and has since become the responsibility of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The mine is currently under Care and Maintenance. Download abstract

Posted February 13, 2013

Ron Foster - February 6, 2013

The staff and management of Mobile Augers and Research and MARL Technologies are greatly saddend by the loss of their co-worker and friend, Ron Foster. Ron was travelling to a jobsite Feb. 6 in a pickup truck with drilling assistant Sean Murphy when they were involved in a head-on collision on highway 881, just south of Conklin, AB. Ron was pronounced dead at the scene, and Sean remains in critical but stable condition in hospital in Edmonton. Ron was both a skilled driller and mechanical wizard, whose expertise in his field was second to none. Ron joined Mobile Augers from Garrity and Baker Drilling in 2002, and he had many years of drilling experience before that. He also spent several years working for Mobile's manufacturing sister company, MARL Technologies, where his mechanical aptitude was greatly appreciated. Ron's talents contributed to the design and manufacture of many of the MARL M Series drills. A favourite of his drill helpers for his willingness to teach and his quirkly sense of humour, Ron was a mentor to many people over the years. He will be missed by everyone in the MARL and Mobile family very much. (Excerpt from Mobile Augers release - click link above for the full obituary).

Posted November 25, 2012 (January 14, 2013)

Event: January 24, 2013

GSE: Dr. Dave Sego, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta - Thermal Behavior of Waste Rock Pile(s) Located in a Continuous Permafrost Region at Diavik Diamond Mine

Location: Faculty Club, University of Alberta

Time: 11:45am - 1:30pm

Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members, $10 for Students

An on-going field study at the Diavik Diamond Mine, NT, Canada, is examining the hydrology, geochemistry, microbiology, gas transport, and heat transport mechanisms controlling acid rock drainage (ARD) in low sulphide waste rock the Canadian Arctic. The mine is located in the continuous permafrost zone. This presentation will provide background to the overall study with a major focus on the thermal behavior within the test piles and a large-scale waste rock pile. Three test piles are used to provide detailed measurements to study the evolution of the gas transport, hydrology, thermal and geochemistry...more>>


c/o. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
7th Floor, Danadeo Innovation Center for Engineering
9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
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